California Postcard

I forget that growing up in California is quite different from the rest of the United States. This is a diverse state that could easily be made up into 10 states. Our geography contains several biomes and weather conditions (we gots the beach, the snow, and TAAAALL trees!) and we can easily visit them with a simple (albeit 8hr) drive. Everyone at least knows one person in the “industry” (music, fashion entertainment – the guy who designed the new IOS) or has an insignificant story about running into a D list celebrity at the grocery store or while waiting in line for the bathroom – or knows someone who does. There is diversity in ethnicity and political opinion. There is diversity in relationships and methods of healing. California could really be it’s own country, just a very broke one. My point is, California is a strange place, and if you’re from here – you’re used to it.

What brings up this topic is the topic I have been on since the beginning of April: Coachella. I go every year, and with every year I see change and it’s growth in popularity. Everyone knows about this desert festival, and while I have always been aware of it’s popularity, it wasn’t until my young editor from North Carolina, jumped at the first chance to gain access into the festival, that I realized this is a dream to people. “It’s a personal thing, I’ve always dreamed of going! When will I get this opportunity again?” And then a co-worker said in the middle of a meeting “In a couple of hours, I will be at Coachella! I can’t believe it! As an East Coast Girl, I have always wanted to go!” My non-California friends told me they had gathered around the computer last year, and heard Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” drop for the first time on a Coachella stream. And in my head I think, “Wow. Something I take advantage of every year is someone’s wildest dreams.” My tradition, is someone else’s “OMG!” That’s kind of amazing, and it’s not just limited to Coachella and events.

One of my really good friends is from the state of Indiana. She always has a story to tell and is always in awe of the new things she discovers about people and California. One of the phrases that I often hear her say is “But you’re from California. You’re used to it.” It’s true. I’m used to the craziness of road closures due to filming. The inability for anyone to make it on time for anything. The parkas being pulled out of the closet for 50 degree weather. The total abandonment of clothing. Cucumber sandwiches with the crust cut off. Yoga and tech-bros. Disneyland. Earthquakes and fire season.

I’m not jaded, it’s what I grew up with.

I guess the reason why I am so interested in this topic is because we all must have some real place that captures our imaginations and dreams. Just because I live in a state that holds vineyards and Hollywood, doesn’t mean I don’t dream myself – and doesn’t mean that other Californians have experienced what I have. For me, it has always been about New York and Europe. I have yet to visit Europe, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I experienced standing on a Manhattan sidewalk w/my cheap Chanel knockoff from F21, and seeing two tall fashion girls in REAL Chanel, striding past me (“I won’t be needing THIS anymore!” *tosses cheap bag*). Eventually I made it to two Fashion Weeks, and that’s a huge dream come true for me. For some of my friends, it’s a twice a year tradition.

I love my state despite it’s expenses and broke nature. There is always something to do, always something to talk about, and if you’re lucky – you get to grow up in a diverse neighborhood (because yes, there are small towns here). What I honestly hope for myself (and others) is to remain patient with those who have not experienced what I have experienced. I will try to minimize my gasps and try to refrain from saying “You haven’t done that/been there?” or from saying “it’s NBD” – because I cringe at the feeling when others do that to me. But just so you know, if you haven’t had In n Out or carne asada fries, trust I will gasp in glee and lead you by the hand. These are things you MUST try and I will not let it go (depending on diet and health conditions of course). Fuck the celebrities, it’s all about the food!

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